OXON Hill, Md. – President Donald Trump said Friday that the Broward sheriff's deputy who did not go inside the Parkland school to confront the killer froze under extreme pressure or is a "coward."
"Deputy Sheriff Peterson, I guess his name is, I mean they brought it out – I was surprised. It deserves to be brought out. What he did, he's trained his whole life. There's an example. When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn't have the courage or something happened," Trump said.
"But he certainly did a poor job. There's no question about that. He was there for five minutes, for five minutes. That was during the entire shooting. He heard it right from the beginning. So he certainly did a poor job. But that's a case where somebody was outside, they're trained, they didn't act properly or under pressure or they were a coward. It was a real shock to the police department."
Trump reiterated his desire to arm some teachers at schools, saying "we have to have protection."
The president spoke as he left the White House to make a short trip to Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, where he will address the annual CPAC gathering.
A full crowd is on hand for his speech, set to begin about 10:05 a.m.
"On Wednesday, I had the honor of meeting with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, with families who have lost their children in prior shootings, and with members of the local community in Washington, D.C. Our whole nation was moved by their strength and courage," his speech reads, according to excerpts.
"When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones it just puts our students in more danger – well-trained gun-adept teachers and coaches should be able to carry concealed firearms. We should do what works. This includes commonsense measures that will protect the rights of law-abiding Americans while helping to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves and to others."